Suffolk family photography

A Family Photographer for Life, not just your Wedding Day. Suffolk Family Photography - Belinda Grant

Essex family photographer

I have a confession. As a family photographer my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life, but it was the start of an amazing catalogue of ‘best days’ including the birth of 2 children, several house moves and some fabulous family moments that will stay with me forever. So here’s another confession: I only have 2 wedding photos in frames. This isn’t because I don’t love my wedding photos, but since my family has grown and we’ve started on this journey together, I have started to fill my walls with family photography of  other ‘best days’ and special moments and now understand the true value of a family photographer.

What I’ve come to realise, is that your wedding day is just the start. And I’m totally devoted to capturing as many moments with my camera as I can as I know that as our family grows, it won’t be my wedding photos that we will be sitting and enjoying, but the photos of my children playing with bubbles in the garden, birthdays and  enjoying the snow in the garden or us all just enjoying our home and life together. There is a fundamental snag with this, which is that there are very few pictures with us all in. So yes, I have some wonderful pictures of my children for me to enjoy now, but my children aren’t really bothered about these and I know that in the future, when they understand the true value of family photography, they’ll be looking for photos of us all together. Sudbury Family photography

Since my wedding day when my husband and I were together in front of the camera for nearly 18 hours, we have very few of us together or with our children as a family. Yes, the selfie stick comes out (if I remember to pack it!) but its a bit of a faff to set up and get everyone in the frame so we usually resort to me behind the camera taking pictures of my husband and the children.

Now eight years on and I wish I’d known then what I know now. Every family needs a photographer, like me, who specialises in family photography to document their life. Despite family photography being a flooded market with us all offering clients different styles and approaches to photography, I still meet clients who’ve never had a family photo shoot and their children are all grown up and ready to fly the nest. They have plenty of selfies and digital images stashed away, but none to enjoy on the walls of their home. Yet their wedding pictures from 25 years previous remain unnoticed by their children. I feel a huge sense of sadness and frustration that they’ve missed out on capturing moments along the way and not got in touch with a family photographer like me sooner.

So why book a family photographer?

The value of having a family photographer in your life.

Suffolk family photographer

So those of us who have booked a wedding photographer know it’s a big investment. But, this is a record of only one day. Yes, being a wedding photographer is a skilled job and requires patience, technical ability and lots of energy! So why don’t we place the same value on capturing the family we build AFTER our wedding day? Those of us who work in family photography are equally as skilled and committed to helping you capture moments in your life, both special and what seems to be the everyday but is equally as poignant. Family photographers are patient people who are experienced in bringing out the best in every person on the shoot. They take their time to get to know you and your family. And if you consider that a family photo shoot is usually significantly less of a pull on your pocket than the cost of your wedding photos, then let the family photographer help you to build the story behind your family. 

Capture the NOW.

Every family needs to capture what’s happening NOW. We all know that children grow up fast and older relatives pass away. Families change and, as cliché as it may sound, you will never get those moments back again. First year at school, special birthdays, going to your families favourite park or beach or just enjoying your own home which itself, doesn’t stay the same forever. You may have extended family or friends that you don’t see very often and photos can save those moments and help you to stay connected.

Suffolk family photographer

Missing Person

If you’re usually the one pressing the shutter then this is you. Most families have one person who seems to be the delegated family photographer so they’re always missing from the picture. This means that the record of your family is incomplete and as a parent, you’re very important to your children. When they have their own families, they’ll want to show their children photos of you. They’re not bothered whether you’re clothes are mucky, you’ve got no make-up on or you’re just having a ‘bad hair day’. They just want you, as you are, in the picture. This is how they remember you.

Suffolk family photographer

Yes, we are ‘The Professionals’!

I know that most people have great cameras on their phones and yes, I take a lot of pictures on mine almost every day. Would I ever print these? Probably not, and I certainly wouldn’t frame them. Most of these shots end up either in the big cloud, or on social media to share with friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, I love scrolling through these pictures and they make me smile but I don’t consider them worthy of a space on my wall. Smartphones will never replace the timeless quality or the emotion behind a gorgeous family photo taking by a professional.

Apologies for the bluntness, but professional family photographers bring with them several skills that you just don’t have. Firstly, they have expertise and creativity. Not only is professional photography about understanding light and how to use it (which is much more complicated that you might think!), being highly skilled in editing, having high-end equipment and knowing how to use it. It’s also about anticipating the unexpected, having vision, knowing what makes an exceptional family photograph and above all, understanding you, the client. Professional family photographers are 100% invested in helping you; they do it because they love it! Yes, you might have a friend with a good camera, but if they were that good, they’d be doing it as a profession and it takes a lot more than just good kit to make an emotive and timeless photograph. ‘All the gear, no idea’ springs to mind!!

Suffolk family photographer

The myth: family photographers are expensive.

So many people consider that booking a family photographer is expensive and a luxury. Professionals don’t over charge you. If their price tag seems steep, it’s because they’re worth paying for. When you go out to a restaurant, you know that you are paying a premium price. You’re paying for all behind the scenes preparation and overheads that the restaurant has and you know that you are getting a professional service and a high quality product.

Family photographers have to justify the cost of running their business. Like many businesses, family photography is costly. It requires investment of both money and time and when you see a photographer just clicking away, that is merely the tip of the iceberg! Ongoing training, insurance, editing time, packaging, ongoing website costs etc, etc. So not only are you getting a highly skilled professional to help you create the storyboard of your families life, but you are also getting to work with someone who takes their business and the service they provide seriously. I feel completely at ease charging my clients what I do. As I know that every client gets a full and bespoke experience with me and I build a very special relationship with them as I become part of their families journey. A meal in a restaurant you experience once, a photograph you can enjoy forever. For my pricing go to:

I’ll book a photo shoot another day.

Bury St Edmunds family photographer

Don’t put it off! As I’ve said, you need to be capturing the now. Life can change in a heartbeat. I heard a sad story recently. A friend who’s also a family photographer recently told me that a client had contacted her to see if she still had copies of the photos she had taken for her several years ago. The reason being, was that one of the youngest members of her family had tragically died and she had been going through her photos and didn’t feel she had enough. Feeling her sadness, the photographer gave her all the photos she had. These are the times when the value of photography can only be fully understood.

Last year, I experienced every PC users nightmare……I lost ALL my photos! Somehow, all my own memories had been erased in a single moment. At the time, I felt sick, sweaty and went very pale as I realised that all record of my families journey was gone forever. As I sat at my desk, I was hoping that someone would be able to bring me out of the nightmare and I was prepared to pay whatever it took to get the photos back. That was the moment I fully understood the value of family photography. The photographs are unique to your life and your family.

So will I be booking a family photographer?

Absolutely. I definitely won’t be putting this off. It’s at the top of my ‘to do’ list and the ironing can wait…’ll always be there but the moment won’t be. There are no repeats.